A recent survey, the first of its kind since 2015, commissioned by the RCVS has discovered that a significant number of pet owners think veterinary surgeons offer poor or very poor value for money, suggesting more work needs to be done to communicate the value of veterinary services. Communication, as covered in our previous news items and blogs, once again appears to be at the centre of not just disputes but also at the heart of both the value of a service and the expectations of clients.
Conducted by marketing consultants to the veterinary industry Mo Gannon & Associates, the 2,000 UK adults were questioned about:
32% of the respondents felt that the service provided excellent (8%) or good (24%) value for money. 38% thought that fees were fair. However, 29% thought that vets and their services provided poor (21%) or very poor (8%) value for money.
However, veterinary surgeons still commanded high levels of trust amongst those surveyed. 94% said they either completely trust (34%) or generally trust (60%) vets.
Satisfaction with the profession was also high. 80% said they were either very satisfied (39%) or satisfied (41%).
On the survey, RCVS President Dr Niall Connell said: “These results clearly demonstrate that there is a great deal of good will towards the veterinary profession and the work they do in treating the nation’s animals and serving their communities. The basis of all good relationships is trust, and it is fantastic to see that our clients continue overwhelmingly to trust our knowledge and expertise and remain very happy with the service we provide them.
“The picture on value for money is clearly a bit more mixed, although clearly 70% of the respondents recognise that we at least charge fair fees in terms of our time and expertise. There is, of course, always more work that we can do in order to help the public understand veterinary costs and fees and promote the value of veterinary care, as demonstrated by last year’s joint Pets Need Vets social media campaign with BVA, in which we highlighted the benefits to pet owners of being registered with a vet.”
The VCMS continues to seek to work with practices through our insight sharing programmes that enable vets to manage expectations and to communicate clearly with clients to avoid potential disappointments or disputes.
For more information about our insight sharing programmes, contact our teams on 0345 040 5834 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.